Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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Caroline Wright

Job Title: PhD Researcher and Research Associate

Institution: WISERD Hub, Cardiff University




I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2003, with a BSc in Social Policy and Planning. Following this I worked for Bristol City Council for a number of years, eventually becoming an Education Welfare Officer in 2006. During this time, I completed a part-time MA in Education at the University of the West of England. In 2009, I secured a 1+3 ESRC CASE studentship at the University of Bristol, in collaboration with UCAS. I completed my MSc in Society and Space in 2010, and am currently writing up my PhD thesis: A Multilevel Analysis of post-16 and Higher Education in England.

Research Interests

My research interests include Educational Participation; Geographies of Education: Neighbourhood Effects; School Effects; and Widening Access Participation / Widening Access policy and strategy.

Current Research

I am currently conducting research for the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) regarding the Impact and Effectiveness of Widening Access to HE in Wales. The overall aim of the proposed research is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the secondary analysis of administrative data-sets to delineate patterns of participation in higher education (HE) and, thereby, to contribute to the development of policy and professional practice in widening access in Wales (and more widely). The project is based upon a collaboration between WISERD, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Welsh Government (WG).

My PhD research is concerned with the extent to which a young person’s context, in terms of where they live, and where they’re educated, affects their likelihood of accessing post-16 and higher education, over and above their individual circumstances. This is pertinent owing to the fact that many of the Widening Participation policies are based solely on contextual analysis, which does not take account of individual-level differences.


Wright, C. Jones, K. and Manley, D. (forthcoming) The determinants of gaining a place in higher education in England: A cross-classified, multilevel analysis

Taylor, C. Joshi, H. and Wright, C. (forthcoming) Evaluating the impact of Early Years Education reform in Wales using the Millenium Cohort Study to age seven

Wright, C. (2009) How effective is parental prosecution as a method of improving school attendance among primary-aged children? Support for Learning Volume 24, Issue 4, pages 176–184.

Conference Presentations

Widening Access to higher education in Wales: analysis using linked administrative data, WISERD Annual Conference, 2014.

The determinants of gaining a place in higher education in England: A  cross-classified, multilevel analysis, WISERD Annual Conference, 2014.

Impact and Effectiveness of Widening Access to Higher Education in Wales, SRHE, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales, 2013.

Post-16 Education: A Multlevel Analysis of Educational Participation in England at The Association of American Geographers, New York, USA, 2012.

Multilevel Modelling and Analysis using MLwiN at The Congreso Internacional Ciudad and Salud, Bogota, Columbia, 2011.

Multilevel Modelling and Analysis using MLwiN at The University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia, 2011.



Latest News
Young People and Brexit

22nd March 2017

WISERD has recently been awarded ESRC funding to carry out a new interdisciplinary study into how young people in the UK feel about, and are responding to, the most significant policy issue of this Parliament: the UK’s exit from the European Union.


Poverty and Food Banks in Wales

16th March 2017

Poverty and the rise of food banks in Wales were the focus of research shared at WISERD’s latest civil society seminar, held at Cardiff last night. PhD student, David Beck and Dr Hefin Gwilym from Bangor University’s School of Social Sciences presented findings from their research exploring the experience of food poverty in Wales.


Featured Events
26 April, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Aberystwyth University (room to be confirmed)

As part of the WISERD Centre for Welsh Politics and Society Seminar Series, Dr Taulant Guma from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University presents emerging findings from the WISERD/Civil Society project on ‘Migrants, Minorities and Engagement in Local Civil Society’.